Starbucks Is Being Sued For Systematically Underfilling Lattes

If you feel shortchanged whenever you order a latte from Starbucks, you're not alone.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Is a coffee conspiracy brewing at Starbucks?

Fox News reports that two California residents have filed a lawsuit against the popular coffee chain, alleging that they knowingly and systematically underfill their cafe and flavored lattes.

The lawsuit claims that Starbucks lattes are approximately 25 percent underfilled an that Starbucks's latte cups aren't, in fact, even big enough to accommodate the amount of liquid promised.

"The standardized recipe requires Starbucks baristas to fill a pitcher with steamed milk up to an etched 'fill to' line that corresponds to the size of the customer's order, pour shots of espresso into a separate serving cup, pour the steamed milk from the pitcher into the serving cup, then top with ¼ inch of milk foam, leaving ¼ inch of free space in the cup," the suit reads, and went on to claim that the standardized recipe instituted in 2009 was adopted as a ploy to save on the cost of milk.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said that the company believes the claims are without merit.

"Hand-prepared beverages increase the likelihood of variations, as disclosed in the nutritional section of our website. Customers often tell us how they want their beverage prepared (e.g. with room, extra foam), therefore beverage volumes are largely collaborative," the spokesperson continued. "Also, if a customer is unhappy with their beverage preparation then we are happy to remake it to their satisfaction."

If the lawsuit's class action status is approved, anyone who's ever ordered a latte would be entitled to part of the payout if the plaintiffs win.

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